AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Processor Review

Author: MAC
Date: May 2, 2011
Product Name: AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition
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Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Specs

Deneb Die

As enthusiasts await the launch of the much hyped Bulldozer microarchitecture, AMD have been keeping everyone distracted with a constant stream of new Athlon II and Phenom II processor models. In September alone they released the Phenom II X6 1075T, Phenom II X4 970 BE, Phenom II X2 560, Athlon II X4 645, Athlon II X3 450, and Athlon X2 265. In December, they unveiled the flagship six-core Phenom II X6 1100T, the Phenom II X2 565 Black Edition, and the Athlon II X3 455. And then in January, AMD unleashed two additional quad-core models, the enthusiast-oriented Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition, and a value-oriented model in the form of the 3.2Ghz Phenom II X4 840.

Today, they are launching an incremental update known as the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition. How does this new processor compare to previous models? Let’s check it out:

Surpassing the 4 month old Phenom II X4 975 BE, the new X4 980 Black Edition has once again set a record as the most highly clocked processor that AMD has ever produced. AMD is targeting this chip towards overclockers and those who want strong performance in today's applications, most of which can't utilize more than 4 cores. This new model slots in at the same $195 price point as the X4 975 BE, but it is also only $5 cheaper than the X6 1090T. It is hard not to recommend paying the miniscule price premium in order to gain two additional cores.

Although our media samples come packaged differently, you can expect the Phenom II X 980 Black Edition to ship in this packaging, which is unchanged from previous Phenom II Black Edition models. We expect the CPU cooler to be the same model that has been included in recent Black Edition models.

As you can see, our chip was manufactured in the 40th week of 2010. That is a mere week later than our Phenom II X4 975 sample. We expected these X4 980’s to be significantly better binned than previous models, so overclocking should be quite impressive.

As we suspected, the Phenom II X4 980 uses the familiar RB-C3 revision that was unveiled all the way back in November 2009.

Nothing surprising on the northbridge frequency front, just the same 2000Mhz as all previous Athlon II/Phenom II chips. If this is indeed the ‘swan song’ for the Phenom II X4 line-up, we would have loved to see AMD increase this to 2200Mhz or 2400Mhz since it would have a considerable impact on overall performance.

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